Thursday, February 19, 2009

Come pick me up ...

... okay, I haven't landed yet after seeing Ben Folds in concert last night. (He is my favorite recording artist, and if you hear my cell phone ring that's him singing.) First of all, he puts on a great show, totally rocking out on the piano. Second, I took Boy to the concert and for once I could sing along with the music without complaints from the peanut gallery. Usually I am told I am embarrassing myself (and him, of course, that's a given), but last night I wasn't the only one singing along. It was an interesting mix last night at the Michigan Theater; lots of college kids, of course, but I saw a few kids younger than Boy, and quite a few fans older than myself.

It's interesting to consider the songs that an artist picks to perform in concert. You always hear a lot from the new album, and last night was no exception: eight songs, plus two variations coming from an upcoming release of remixes. Interesting, though: no songs at all from his penultimate album, but three from his first ... and none of the radio hits that helped him break through in the 1990s. People often call out suggestions during his concerts, and he often riffs on that, making jokes about being a "wind-up automaton." I think a lot depends on the backup band; two years ago he only had a drummer and bassist, but this year he added a couple extra percussionist/keyboard/all-purpose musicians, and it made for a different sound. I was fine with that; he played my favorite song and a couple of Boy's favorite songs, and even had a whole section of the show where he played "waltzes" (ie, 3/4 time) solo on the piano. Since I'm freaky enough to build a whole playlist on iTunes of just songs in 3/4 time, I ate that up.

One last thought: how hard must it be to serve as the warmup band? No one's heard of you, they're all waiting for the main act, they talk while you sing, and they're glad when you're done. Rough gig, that. Still, they get to see the main act perform every night, so maybe it's worth it.

If you want a sampling of what we heard last night (warning, one song has R-rated language; the title gives it away), you can try this awesome little gadget below. You might recognize one song that appeared on "Grey's Anatomy" a few weeks ago; in any case, it's an interesting assortment to sample.

1 comment:

  1. I always wonder that about back up bands too. I saw Madonna in the 80s and (not knowing yet who they were) the crowd booed Run DMC off the Stage.